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Eternal Virgins

A satirical look at the world in 2032, when women all over the planet, having nearly achieved equality, are stripped of their rights at the final hour and forced to leave their communities.

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The year is 2032. In America, women who are not holding, or acting in accordance to a valid Compliant Card, are deported.

Apart for sexual and domestic positions, there is not one job open to a woman, anywhere in the world, except for Iceland. But in order to qualify for a job in the last remaining Equal Employment Country, you must be blonde, thin and very flexible.

Some countries are following America’s lead and physically removing women. While China is divided by a wall again, Ireland has literally tipped all of it’s women into Tipperary. The French ladies are in the slums outside of Avignon and Italy has turned the island of Sicily into one giant female prison (and breeding ground).

In every community, women are being put back in place after nearly gaining equality. Only those who show adequate acquiescence to their rightful owners are granted living rights in the comfortable communities of men.

While many women find the slums safer, either way, women are back to being second class citizens.

In my hometown of Alice Springs, Australia, all women have been displaced in the desert outside the McDonnell Ranges. Only a handful of women remain in the township to assist the men, who battle it out in a war of race.

The women outside the McDonnell Ranges are referred to as Witches and are periodically hunted down by young men in Utility Trucks with shotguns.

Okay, so I’m probably catastrophizing but my imagination tends to go a bit wild sometimes.

A vivid imagination and a Catholic upbringing was initially a very bad combo for my feminism. I could practically smell the burning flesh in Hell. When it came to believing in myself, and not pernicious myths about eternal virgins, I could feel my own burning flesh.

I don’t know how that awful brand of Catholicism survived to reach me, but sometimes the pendulum just keeps swinging. And I’ve got to heal it now or never have kids.

I don’t go to Mass anymore but a few days ago, while walking down Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, I saw a beautiful, big church. I went in and realised it was Catholic. Not wanting to offend anyone, I even genuflected, despite having no faith left.

I don’t know why I went inside but I was lonely and then I was surprisingly touched by the familiarity of the service. Mass is still something I seem to know off by heart since absorbing it as a child.

However, as soon as the grown man onstage got to the part about an Eternal Virgin, I got very angry and left. That was the root (excuse the pun) of all my despair.

Luckily, churches are ours to walk in and out of. And luckily there is art and not just politics.

So I think I should make that movie about Witches living in the desert around Alice Springs. A story of a matriarchal society living as a patriarchal society since the dawn of society.

Because even bad things come to an end and my future daughters definitely won’t ever think that there was a virgin called Mary.

I’ll tell them myself she was just a whore.

 

Artists Statement

The idea of the feminist fight going backwards has been in the back of my mind for a few months now and I’m grateful for the opportunity to explore my ideas here. While this short piece of writing was a welcome project, at first I thought, what can I possibly say? How can I contribute? I am not a journalist, a lawyer or an academic so I am not able to impress with intellectual stuff. It freaked me out a bit, so I surrendered. I went back to my happy place – my imagination – and that’s how I came to pen this piece. I hope you enjoy it. I suppose society needs satirists as much as surgeons, just like it needs women as much as men. Thank you for reading.

SOURCEWritten by Biddy O'Loughlin, Los Angeles, USA via Alice Springs.
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Biddy O’Loughlin is a writer, actor, comedian and filmmaker from Alice Springs, Central Australia. ​ She put on her first full length play at 18, as an amateur production at her local theatre. ​ It sold out and the show was given a second run. ​ In 2011 she wrote, produced and performed a solo show called ‘The Girl Who Thought She Was Irish’ at the Edinburgh International Arts Festival. In 2012, she put on a second solo show, ‘Funny Rabbit’, at the Melbourne Fringe. Biddy graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2015 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Television. ​ Her thesis film, a satirical western called ‘Ten Thousand’, earned her a Silver Screen Young Director Award in France, June 2016. ​ Her left elbow has appeared in a Heinz Soup Commercial.

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